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House GOP chooses leaders

The state House GOP caucus on Saturday, meeting in High Point, chose its leaders for the coming session.

Rep. Paul "Skip" Stam of Apex was promoted from majority leader to speaker pro tem. This will be his seventh term.The previous pro tem, Rep. Dale Folwell, left office to run unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor. The pro tem steps in to run sessions when the speaker is absent. Speaker Thom Tillis of Cornelius was re-elected to the post last month.

Rep. Edgar Starnes, from Caldwell County, was chosen Majority Leader. Starnes has been in the House since 1993. The majority leader is the point man on floor debates, and leads caucus meetings.

Rep. David Lewis of Dunn was also running for majority leader.

Rep. Ruth Samuelson from Mecklenburg County was named to the new position of House Republican conference leader. Samuelson, in her fourth term, was majority whip and will take on some duties that previously belonged to the majority leader.

Rep. Mike Hager of Rutherford County, was named majority whip. he was the freshman leader last session.

Freshmen caucus members on Saturday also elected leaders: Rep.-elect Rick Catlin of New Hanover County, as freshman leader; and Rep.-elect Dean Arp of Union County, freshman whip, which is a new position.

Lawmakers return briefly on Jan. 9 for a session that really gets under way on Jan. 30.


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